President Trump today announced his support for the RAISE Act, legislation reforming the nation's legal immigration system. The RAISE Act is co-sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA).
If enacted, the measure would reduce legal immigration by 50%. That may sound like a lot because it is a lot.
Current levels of immigration are at historic highs, and it is having a tremendous impact at all levels of government. The cost of educating non-English speaking students is vastly greater than the cost of educating native-born students.
More importantly, the legislation would dramatically transform current immigration policies from a family-based, "chain migration" system to one that is based on merit and skills.
It is based on a fundamental economic principle -- supply and demand. It seeks to balance the needs of industry and a growing economy without creating an oversupply of workers, which suppresses wages of U.S. citizens.
That may seem like an obvious thing to do, but we're not doing it. According to Politico, "Those admitted to the U.S. on the basis of merit have accounted for less than 10 percent of all legal immigrants over the past 15 years."
Speaking at the White House this afternoon, President Trump declared that this immigration reform bill "will reduce poverty, increase wages, and save taxpayers billions and billions." Here's a brief excerpt of the president's remarks:
"This competitive . . . process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy. The RAISE Act prevents . . . new immigrants from collecting welfare, and protects U.S. workers from being displaced. . .
"This legislation will . . . restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens. This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first."
President Trump recently said that his administration "inherited a mess" from Obama, including "many problems across [the] government." Here's one example.
Alarm bells are going off at the Pentagon over an Obama-era program that allowed non-citizens to serve in the military. In exchange for their service, they were put on a fast-track toward citizenship. Sounds good, but. . .
A recent report from the Pentagon's inspector general has members of Congress demanding answers. Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK), endorsed by CWF, said, "The program has been replete with problems, to include foreign infiltration. So much so that the Department of Defense is seeking to suspend the program."
Another member of Congress said some enlistees under this program have gone missing. He asked, "Where are they? What do they know? Where are they serving? What are their numbers?"
Insufficient vetting appears to be a major concern. Other lawmakers briefed on the inspector general's report said that some of the program's enrollees came from "countries of concern," meaning nations known to be hotbeds of jihadi sentiment.
Restoring The Rule Of Law
While we're on the subject of immigration, federal agents staged a series of raids last week which resulted in the arrests of 650 illegal immigrants. According to a press release from the Department of Homeland Security, "All of the individuals targeted during this operation had been issued a final [deportation] order . . . by a federal immigration judge."
Twenty percent of those arrested had criminal convictions for "DUI, assault and battery, drug possession, domestic abuse and sexual assault."
Thankfully, the Trump Administration is sending the message loud and clear that the Obama-era tolerance of illegal immigration is over.
Thomas Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, reiterated the Trump Administration's commitment to law and order. Director Homan said, "I urge anyone considering making the dangerous and unlawful journey to the United States: Please do not take this risk. . . you will be identified, apprehended and returned to your home country."
What a contrast to Barack Obama, whose policies actively encouraged illegal immigration!
By the way, two disturbing cases this week are exposing the political malfeasance of left-wing policies. In the sanctuary city of Portland, Oregon, an illegal immigrant with a lengthy rap sheet raped a 65 year-old woman.
And in Burien, Washington, Salvador Diaz-Garcia, one of Obama's so-called "Dreamers," brutally attacked a 19 year-old woman and a 14 year-old girl. Reacting to Donald Trump's election, Burien, a suburb of Seattle, passed a "sanctuary city" law in December.
Once again, we see how progressive politicians are more concerned with protecting illegal immigrants than they are with protecting their fellow citizens. Sadly, there was no sanctuary for these victims of the progressive agenda.
Yesterday, I wrote extensively about the Obama Administration's abuse of our national security apparatus and the "unmasking" of American citizens caught up in intelligence intercepts. One of the individuals specifically mentioned in a bombshell report Monday was former Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.
Rhodes was a key figure in selling Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. Last year, he openly bragged to the New York Times about how the White House manufactured a false narrative regarding the Iranian regime and fed disinformation to left-wing groups and willing accomplices in the media.
I am pleased to report that the House Intelligence Committee is now zeroing in on Rhodes and his role in the unmasking scandal. The committee is demanding the National Security Agency turn over all unmasking requests made by Rhodes from January 1, 2016 to January 20, 2017.
That is a good start. But given his role in the Iranian nuclear deal, the committee should demand all of Rhodes' records going back to 2013 to see if he was spying on members of Congress and groups opposed to the deal.